couple of TED talks on drawing

May. 29th, 2017 06:47 pm
mindstalk: (rathorn)
[personal profile] mindstalk
Speaker: Graham Shaw

You, too, can draw cartoons! Audience (including you, the viewer) asked to draw along with him. It works.

Drawing helps us remember more. Some study showed subjects remembering twice as many words when they drew vs. writing them down. (Exact number not given.) Once again, audience-friendly demo. As he put it, paraphrased, "you can all draw. Or at least, draw well enough to be useful."
sdelmonte: (Default)
[personal profile] sdelmonte
No rest for the weary as we got home from Baltimore by 4 pm and were shopping for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot by 5 pm.  Lots to do to get ready, but as I tend to have too much vacation time, I am off tomorrow and can get ready a bit more properly.  Of course, this means a one day work week on Friday, and rushing to get ready for shabbos, and a week of altered sleep schedules.  But we knew this going into Balticon, and Balticon was just so enjoyable that it was worth it.

For me, for the fourth time, Balticon meant some filk here and there, and the weekend-long LARP.  This time around, the game consisted of equal parts characters from books come to life in the real world and original characters with some sort of superpower.  As a long time veteran of that pan-fandom online RPG called Milliways, this was nearly second nature to me, with the added bonus of people were allowed to recognized famous literary figures.  Such as Dr. Watson. my character for the LARP.  (Alas, no Holmes but there was a Moriarty so secret that  I had no idea he was in the game).  It was immensely fun trying to play a very meta Dr. Watson in both the setting of the game and in the 21st century.   I think it took a while to get exactly how to play him, but getting there was part of the fun.

And it's really hard not to have fun with a felllowship of Watson, Scheherazade, Molly Weasley, Allan Quatermain, and an original character with superpowers racing on the back of griffins to throw the One Ring into Mount Doom reborn in Scotland.  While a crazed MI6 agent who is secret a Hellspawn is trying to kill us.  (Spoiler: we won.  And that was nowhere near the end game.)

Some other time when I am less tired I might talk about the interesting dynamics of this LARP.  Suffice it to say, I came away wanting to reread some of the original Holmes canon.  

Anyway, time to steer away from the con and towards Shavuot.  More to come...

All clichés, all the time!

May. 29th, 2017 12:41 pm
kate_schaefer: (Default)
[personal profile] kate_schaefer
The older granddaughter is about to graduate from college.

This is the point where one says, But wasn't she just born, just yesterday? And sentimental songs about how fast time goes by play on the soundtrack, and we look at the pictures of her childhood.

Forget the soundtrack, but I have been going through the pictures of her childhood. Between the dust (on the boxes in which the pictures are stored, not on the pictures themselves) and the sentimentality, it's not an easy task. She wanted pictures from her first day of school; I found them, though we've never labelled things properly nor stored them in any real order. Her infancy, her birthday parties, her trips to the zoo, her teddy bears, her Halloween costumes, her family, her friends, her teachers, her projects. Her childhood.

She's been an adult for several years now, self-supporting while she earned first her associate's degree and now her bachelor's degree in accounting. After graduation, she will study for the CPA exam. We could not be more proud of her.

Congratulations on all your hard work, grandchild, and best of luck on the hard work yet to come. You're a fine human being.
belenen: (Default)
[personal profile] belenen
I started 2016 with a lot of hope. In January I connected a lot with
Kylei, Sande, and Hannah; I had two graduation parties and started making
more plans to spend time with people, and I started meditating weekly-ish
with Elizabeth. But by the end of January I ended up in a dark crash over
how little I felt connected to people. The beginning of February was a
little better -- I got to go to Big Trees with some of my favorite people,
and Topaz hosted Heather's birthday which was also nourishing and fun. But
then I went to a party at Kylei's and had a terrible anxiety crash which
ended up leaking into the next day and causing a horrifically painful
miscommunication with Topaz. Later that month I went to the activist
meet-and-greet for the first time after meaning to go for ages, and met
three awesome new people. But just introducing myself made my heart beat
painfully hard. At the end of February I asked my psychiatrist to prescribe
me anxiety meds and start being medicated for that for the first time.

In March I did a lot of social -- met with four friends as well as with my
ex-mother-in-law. I also began a four-week break with Topaz, in an effort
to re-set our relationship which had become too central for both of us. In
April I had two tinder fails (one flaked and the other I could hardly talk
with), made a new friend, hosted a crafty party and a cuddly communion,
spent time with Roger and Serenity, and went to Euphoria where I gave a
talk on intimacy and made a game with it. (yeah I'd say that the anxiety
meds were helping!) In May I spent a lot of time with Serenity and Evelyn,
hosted a cuddly communion, spent time with Katie, Allison, Serra, and
Indie, and wrote a lot of important posts. In June I spent lots of time
with Serenity, presented at APW and SFQP, hung out with Arizona, Sande,
Allison, Kylei, Evelyn, and Cass, and had a truth-or-truth videochat with
LJ friends, as well as writing a lot of important posts.

In July stuff started getting very stressful -- Topaz went through
something really traumatic, Kanika had a medical emergency and I had to
take her to the vet, my little sister came in town unexpectedly, and I ran
out of money and had to start begging from my bioparents. But also I spent
lots of good time with Serenity and had several gathers -- two with my lil
sis, also Katie, Allison, Hannah, Kylei, Elliott, Evelyn, Sande, Cass, and
even Adi, so that part was positive. But August brought a lot of painful
stuff for Topaz, was when I ran out of ADD meds with no access to a doctor,
and was the last time I saw Evelyn for months. Roger and Allison were
supportive and helpful, and I went to a SONG membership meeting which gave
me hope like nothing else except for TBC ever has.

September I got a job at Starbux and finally started getting call backs and
interviews for a few of the hundreds of applications I had sent. My awful
bioparents also invaded my house and stayed for a month, harassing me about
money, rearranging my stuff and throwing some of it away without my
permission, invading my bedroom, and being transphobic. October was mostly
filled up with my awful bioparents and working at Starbux but at the very
end I began doing LJ Idol again. In November things got still worse --
Evelyn officially broke things off with me and Kylei blew up at me and told
me we can't be friends. Then later that month Evelyn invited me to a party
at their house which ended up being an emotional disaster. I quit Starbux
for my new job.

December was a very mixed bag. I started my new job, which was amazing; I
got a new psychiatrist and finally got medicated for ADD again; I got to
spend time with Arizona, Felix, Felix's people Blaire and Shay, Allison,
Jonathan, Heather, Brian, Jessica, and my little sister. But also, my
grandmother died and I had to spend time with my awful biofamily, and I was
so emotionally drained that I couldn't really enjoy Solstice. It was also a
sad reminder of my estrangement from Kylei and Evelyn, because I wanted
them at Solstice so much.

Detailed events:

-- communicating w Hannah more often: multiple videochats
-- 1 - overview of goals for 2015: satisfied / goals for 2016: sorta more
reasonable yet more intense <>
-- 2 - my best help with achieving goals: a sticker chart. With shiny
reward stars. <>
-- 1-5 - Topaz goes to DC w their family.
-- 2-4 - Kylei comes to stay at my house for a weekend and we have a
positive, relaxed time together, but they're exhausted and napping a lot.
-- 6-10 - Topaz gets really sick and I caretake them for a few days.
-- 13 - begin meditating with Elizabeth weekly-ish
-- 14 - met Sande for the first time after several failed plans.
-- 16 - Topaz' parents throw me a graduation party then Topaz hosts an
-- 18 - Begin daily praying hope, safety, and practical solutions for
Hannah, and begin sending kylei love weekly
-- 29 - feeling undesirable/unimportant due to lack of friends (except odd
squad) & lack of group connection
-- 30 - the purposes I want my LJ to serve and the efforts I take to make
that happen <>
-- get sick, intense depressive crash about people not wanting to be my

-- hung out w Sande a lot
-- meditating with Elizabeth weekly-ish
-- two plans w strangers, one gets rescheduled the other is a dead end.
-- 5 - how I cope with my ADD-PI (other than meds): supplements, caffeine,
music, water, book, food, sleep <>
-- 6 - going to BTFP w Allison, Topaz, Sydney, Heather, and Kylei then
playing truth-or-truth jenga with Topaz, Heather, Kylei, Sande, Jacqueline,
and Hannah
-- did a lot of work on my book of magic.
-- 7 - characters in the story of my life: present and past
-- 9 - defense mechanisms of old: not showing gratitude, blocking emotion,
not inviting myself, disclosing <>
-- 10 - birthday w Kylei Heather Topaz Sydney Allison Hannah Sande
Jacqueline / BTFP & truth-or-truth jenga
-- 13 - Topaz hosts a party for Heather's birthday and we all watch their
favorite movie Lagaan w Heather, Topaz, Ariana, Christopher, Sam, and
Serah, then Topaz, Heather, Ariana, Christopher and I play truth-or-truth
-- 14 - herpes outbreak #2, five years later...
-- 17 - an 'about me' that is exceedingly dense and comprehensive.
-- 19 - go to a party at Kylei's house, end up having a terrible anxiety
crash which leaks into the next day and leads to a terrible argument with
-- 19 - my most powerful spiritual experiences & how some have shifted in
meaning <>
-- 20 - "The History of White People": vastly informative, profoundly
important, and beautifully constructed
-- 21 - anxiety & people-fear / fretting about friends
-- 26 - met Katie, Imani, and Kathy at AROMA
-- 26 - Kylei is supposed to come home with me after we go to the AROMA
meeting but they go home instead.
-- 28 - anxiety: starting mirtazapine, shifts in experiencing stress /
adrenaline <>

-- speaking on student panel at school
-- met 2 strangers, one whose non-intersectional attitude was very
off-putting and one who I liked very much
-- spent one-on-one or intimate time with Rocky and Alison
-- 3 - rant: I hate the idea of 'honeymoon phase' or NRE / start with
reality rather than fantasy / IFE
-- 9 - an open letter to anyone who uses the words 'attractive' or 'ugly'
like they have objective meaning
-- 10 - dealing with disappointment in a respectful, consensual way.
-- 11 - met up w Kathleen, talked about the past and about my job seeking
plans and resume.
-- Allison was really sweet and supportive
-- 21 - begin break w Topaz
-- 26 - last day of praying hope, safety, and practical solutions for Hannah
-- 26 - Topaz & I started a 21-day relationship break / relative cost of
meeting strangers / social ventures
-- 28 - dear friend: please reconsider your use of that slur

-- working on my portfolio site
-- got flaked on & unmatched by a tinder person, met another one who I had
nothing to talk about with
-- 2 - fear of love being taken away if I'm not comforting & helpful / my
worth / who I am vs what I do <>
-- 3 - intimacy practice - Bel, Heather, Felix
-- 4 - bioparent M thinks love is a desire for ownership / feeling
worthlessness is a sign of bad patterns
-- 5 - the feigning ignorance consent violation tactic: if they care, they
change their behavior. TW: rape <>
-- 6 - the fictional characters I feel most affinity with: Chrysoberyl, ?,
Maleficent, Joan, Alice, Sylvari
-- 8 - yearning to be craved, desired, immersed, devoured.
-- 9 - I need my social and alone time well-mixed / productive, good job me
-- 10 - I usually prefer to process alone, in writing: Heather explains why
this is odd <>
-- 12 - beginning romance as an erotic mirror/demisexual: after
platonically in love I can fall romantically
-- 13 - break w Topaz is over, back to romantic / getting visuals from
kissing / the kinds of kisses I like
-- 15 - lots of work preparing for SAS Day and they didn't register me
properly or have a table for me, MEGA FAIL
-- 17 - cuddly communion #2 <>
-- 20 - relationship anarchy: we each only do what we want / my intentions
& desires in all connections <>
-- 21 - hung out w Roger
-- 23 - met Serra at starbux, easy conversation despite awkwardness.
-- 24 - crafty party, only Hannah and Nick and Serra came (maybe one other
person? can't remember)
-- 26 - Serenity moves in to Wishwood
-- 29 - went to Euphoria w Topaz

-- meditating with Elizabeth weekly-ish stops
-- lots of time and talks w Serenity
-- 5 - time w Katie
-- 6 - different all the time in multiple significant ways / categories:
identities, experiences, & values
-- 7 - Euphoria 2016 / why I go to burns / new housemate feeds me, helps
clean & tidy, & crafts with me! <>
-- 12 - time w Evelyn
-- 13 - evening w Evelyn: amazing conversation & cuddles
-- 15 - love letter to my soft, sweet, fat, cuddly belly
-- 16 - poem: inside <>
-- 16 - Allison helps me change my flat tire
-- 18 - get lost on my way to meet Serra at MOCA GA, we reschedule, meet on
the 21st instead
-- 18 - I'm going to start trusting my intuition over others' claims for
the first time in my life <>
-- 19 - why I am practicing polyamory (relationship anarchy) even when I am
dating one person or no one <>
-- 19 - pick up Indie and we go to coffee
-- 20 - Don't put sex jokes in my mouth without my consent. Do not.
-- 21 - go to the Aid Atlanta exhibit at Zuckerman museum w topaz
-- 22 - date w Evelyn cancelled at the last minute, they say it's because
they have a cold
-- 22 - what I am proud of about me: skills/knowledge about intimacy &
consent <>
-- 23 - resolving conflict in 5 steps: ask myself what hurt, assume the
best, ask them why, accept, resolve
-- 27 - why I call myself an erotic mirror: I do not have intrinsic desire
for any role in sex <>
-- 27 - cuddly communion #3 <>

-- lots of time and talks w Serenity
-- present at APW, very anxious.
-- presented at SFQP, much better.
-- met a stranger to talk about the process of HRT while non-binary
-- time w Cass
-- time w Arizona (2x in-person)
-- 1 - Hi new friends! about me / slurs hurt me / if I hurt you, lemme know
/ sincere questions are welcome <>
-- 3 - need to write also need to sleep ugh / off my ADD-PI meds so my
focus and memory are out the window
-- 4 - APW: volunteer idea, decidin to be more active w fat-positivity /
date w Arizona / ritual w Serenity
-- 5 - what makes social interactions easier or harder for me in one-on-one
and group settings <>
-- 7 - learning from dating Kylei, 5 years later: tools for managing my
anxiety w terrible memory & ADD <>
-- 10 - hang out at the Land Trust w Serenity, Kylei, Sande
-- 14 - go with Topaz, Serenity, Allison, and Topaz' parents to vigil for
the Orlando queer massacre victims
-- 15 - an access request (dyslexia related): spaces between paragraphs,
more breaks <>
-- 17 - my experience at Atlanta's vigil for the slain at Pulse in Orlando:
profound gratitude & joy & hope <>
-- 20 - plans for being a more inclusive speaker/leader at group events
-- 21 - time w Evelyn listening to Noe Venable
-- 27 - Truth-or-truth videochat w LJ friends
-- 27 - CN/TW: rape / rant on the 'unintentional' rape AKA the
'misunderstanding' victim-blame argument
-- 29 - what helps me most to relieve stress

-- lots of time and talks w Serenity
-- 1 - Topaz has a bonfire at their place w me, Heather, Sy, Jessica,
Allison, Sande, and Cass
-- 2 - Kanika is in great distress, take her to the free vet who expresses
her anal glands
-- 4 - acknowledging difficult truths: expected & actual feels / lack the
resources for endless caretaking
-- 5 - anxiety very high for days / Kanika injured, vet visit, healing now
/ meds issue / all the stresses <>
-- 10 - Lil sis comes in town all of a sudden, go to lunch w lil sis,
erika, lizzie
-- 11 - Mary's w lil sis & Katie & Molly & Cass & Topaz
-- 12 - Gather at Topaz' with lil sis, Serenity, Allison, Hannah, Kylei,
-- 12 - anxiety workaround: turning off my brain and doing the scary thing
on autopilot <>
-- 16 - Sense8 Marathon day (eps 3-12) w Topaz, Evelyn, Sande, Serenity
-- 18 - relationship health check-up questions: abusive red flag questions
& relative healthiness questions
-- 26 - date w Evelyn: meeting Demeter, intense emotional & philosophical
discussions, many cuddles & kisses
-- 27 - bad actions =/= bad person. absence of effort to reduce harm one
causes/benefits from = bad person
-- 28 - play intimacy: sillinesses with Topaz
-- 28 - Adi visits me!
-- 29 - Lemonade Viewing Party & Discussion at feministcenter

-- Topaz dealing with really heavy shit
-- 3 - 22 months writing image descriptions: 4 awesome side-effects /
resources & explanation of the need
-- 05 - Topaz leaves for a family vacation
-- 06 - go to National Slam Poetry finals w Cass, lots of talking
-- 07 - visit Evelyn, hold and pet them
-- 11 - How Loss of Alone Time, Constant Caretaking, & Medication Stigma
Almost Killed Me <>
-- 12 - I have HPV (as if I needed more stress)
-- 13 - Evelyn cancels on me
-- 14 - Cass and Kelsey came over and we had long talks
-- 15 - Topaz gets back and we have lovely time together
-- 16 - why the words 'stupid' & other slurs against people w cognitive
disabilities are harmful / TW: slurs
-- 17 - tips for poor cat caretakers on how to choose a cat food (most of
the cat food sold is bad for cats)
-- 21 - time w Allison
-- 22 - be careful w sexual consent: discuss meaning, risk, safeword,
triggers, roles, acts, sobriety, needs
-- 25 - SONG General Membership Meeting, amazing
-- 25 - How to Help Belenen When They are Stressed: the Don'ts and Do's- 2
-- 26 - rant: mediocre bosses make drudges out of the best workers &
protect & elevate mediocre workers
-- 31 - Roger comes over

-- 3 - I wanna build local community starting w monthly gathers around
needs, food, play, intimacy, & touch
-- 4 - to connect, I must be vulnerable: to be vulnerable, I must allow my
imperfections to be witnessed <>
-- 8 - - - Starbux interview
-- 11 - MASSIVE BOOK POLL. I laboriously compiled a list of my formative
books. pls check what you've read!
-- 17 - recently: depressed, still job-hunting, home suddenly uncertain
finally start getting callbacks for job at the cookie factory and the gift
card distributor
-- 20 - beginning of month-long invasion of my house by bioparents
-- 21 - first day at Starbux
-- 28 - interview for accessibility job
-- 30 - Topaz finally leaves the abusive job
-- 30 - parents invading my house, sister wants me out, mother reveals her
transphobia / job hunt ugh puke <>

-- 6 - Serenity's hearing
-- 18 - BIoparents finally leave
-- 20 - horrible bioparents finally gone, maybe I can return to life
-- 24 - trying to meet person from tindr, they forgot. spent time w Allison.
-- 27 - interview for working w my old boss
-- 30 - constant caretaking without sufficient rest is damaging for
caretaker, caretaken, & the relationship
-- 31 - started doing LJ Idol again

-- 1 - Topaz took me to see Sia! and Maddie!
-- 2 - Evelyn tells me they can't date me
-- 3 - interview w gift card distributor
-- 7 - LJI topic 0, intro: my function is explaining, my motivation is
compassion, my hope is understanding - 5
-- 8 - Kylei explodes at me and tells me we aren't friends any more.
-- 16 - Evelyn invited me to a party at their house
-- 18 - interview for different position w accessibility company
-- 25 - Sonia Leigh w Topaz & fam
-- 26 - Went to Evelyn's party, they acted weird, I hid on the back porch
and cried and a stranger came and comforted me.
-- 29 - last day at starbux
-- 30 - LJI topic 2, that one friend: when is it over? my 5 criteria for
continued friendship investment <>

-- 1 - time w Felix at wishwood! starbux, walk at Blanket's Creek, stop at
Kroger for juice mainly, talking and lots of cuddles! Felix met Serenity
who made tasty stuffed acorn squash
-- 5 - first day at new job!
-- 6 - appointment with new psychiatrist, finally get ADD meds again. also,
Felix visited me at Wishwood, met Blaire and Shay over gchat. Serenity made
chili, which wasn't quite done but I had to go to sleep so they made me a
bowl, couldn't eat much it was too much work. I stayed up too late, got
fragile and sensitive, brushed against Topaz' anxiety, ugh.
-- 11 - Grandma dies
-- 13 - Evelyn told me that they were uncomfortable with me and I told them
that I can't play this guessing game any more and to let me know when/if
they have an active desire to connect. End of contact for months.
-- 15 - when being yourself is dangerous: microaggressions as brushback
pitches - <>
-- 17 - drove Ace 2 hours south for Grandma's graveside service, then went
to cracker barrel w all the biofam for dinner
-- 18 - Ace comes over, I make pancakes, me n Topaz n Blaire n Felix go on
a walk out back, we all watch Maleficent while Felix pets me and I pet
Topaz, we all play truth or truth jenga, order an uber for Ace, have
vegetarian chili cheese dogs. Then me, Topaz, Felix, Shay, and Blaire did
lightpainting experiments. Later I had a complete meltdown about people
making indirect consent jokes. First I hid and tried to get over it, then I
went down and talked about it, crying and shaking and scratching/rocking.
Everyone took me seriously and responded kindly. For healing, we all lay in
a circle w heads on each others' bellies, fake laughing leading to real
-- 20 - Solstice celebration with Topaz, Felix, Blaire, Shay, Allison,
Jonathan, Heather, Brian, and Jessica
-- 22 - Arizona comes to Wishwood, I share my spicy brownies and then smoke
hookah while we talk
-- 24 - Felix & Blaire & Shay visit me at Wishwood, then time w Felix,
Blaire, Shay, & Topaz at Topaz' - dinner & watching Contact
-- 25 - xmas w Topaz' family
-- 26 - Down time w Topaz - hunt for rainbow drip lights on sale at big
lots, walgreens, walmart -- find 2! Felix, Shay, Blaire, & me hang out at
Topaz' with a fire in the backyard firepit. I try to leave space for Topaz
n Felix to say goodbye but Topaz was too worried about me, thinking I'm
upset because I went upstairs. After, I cried and we explained to each
other and I felt very bad for doing the opposite of my intent, because I
didn't communicate well. No emotional energy left.
-- 28 - went to see Trolls w Allison & Topaz. too exhausted emotionally to
hang out beyond sitting together watching a screen.
-- 29 - saw Gillian Welch w Topaz, and a coyote crossed the road in front
of us

--- originally posted Sunday, 5·28·17, 09:23 pm at ---

add-pi <>, adi
<>, allison
<>, anxiety / overwhelmed / stress
arizona <>, biofamily
<>, burns
<>, cass
<>, elizabeth
<>, evelyn
<>, ex-in-laws
<>, fear / insecurity
<>, felix
<>, hannah
<>, heather
<>, intimacy
<>, intimacy practice
<>, kanika
<>, kylei
<>, life story
<>, money
<>, music
<>, pain
<>, sande
<>, serenity
<>, social justice / feminism
solstice <>, sydney
<>, those passing through
<>, topaz
<>, touch
<>, work
<>, writing prompts

(no subject)

May. 29th, 2017 06:15 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Well, the good news is that my documents all seem to be there. Of course, there was only one document that would have been an irreparable loss.

My bookmarks are still there in both Firefox and Chrome. My address book and calendar are intact.

But all of my archived email, two decades worth of photos, links, feedback, and correspondence, is gone. All of my iTunes files are likewise gone. Several programs have also vanished into the ether, and my preferences are intact some places and utterly gone in others.

The loss of the email archives is pretty devastating. I start crying when I think about it. Every single bit of fic feedback I got on LJ or via email is completely gone. Every discussion I had with anyone about story directions/progress is likewise gone. Every poem Scott wrote for me. Every photo of Cordelia that other people forwarded to me.

The iTunes files are only heartbreaking. I can restore some portion of what's gone, but some of the CDs are no longer playable because of having been exposed to young Cordelia. Some of the music was filk not available on CD. The library audiobooks I had in progress are gone, and some of those are no longer available from the library (plus, I tracked where I was in a book by deleting the already read tracks. I've now lost my place in twenty different books).

The version of Mail I have now no longer allows me to do any sort of offline archiving. This frustrates me vastly because I loathe having my mail on Google's servers any longer than it takes me to read it and either archive it or delete it. This version of Mail also insists on threading messages, something else that I loathe (it makes replying to specific messages nearly impossible). Are there other email programs available for use on a Mac?

Scott can't figure out why that other stuff didn't come over with the backup. My suspicion is that it's a space issue. Both the iTunes stuff and the email would have been huge. Scott didn't bother to clean his crap off of the new-to-me hard drive before trying to load my stuff. I'm making an effort to delete everything I can.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The following poems from the May 2, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. Poems may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my LiveJournal profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods.

There are still verses left in the linkback poems "
Testing the Metal," "Dangerous Refuges," "The Marble and the Sculptor," "Picking Up the Litter," "The Golden Peaches of Peace," "Leaves Upon the Water," "The Quick Brown Fox," and "Lead Us in Peace." Linking to this page will reveal new verses in whichever linkback poem you request.

Read more... )

"The Black and the Red"
It talks about the history of red and black Seminoles, and how they feathered out after the Fledging.
54 lines, Buy It Now = $20

"Divisible History"
The people of Roluma history is not whole, but splinters, and nobody really comes out of it intact.
66 lines, Buy It Now = $33

If there's one thing that
the people of Roluma know,
it's that time is a fragile thing.

"Rewriting the Narrative"
From this I got the free-verse poem "Rewriting the Narrative." Just because you lost the war, doesn't prevent you from retelling history in your own image.
28 lines, Buy It Now = $15

"We Will Fade into You"
It explores what the Neanderthals left to the Cro-Magnons.
26 lines, Buy It Now = $15

Continuing with the Iron Horses, I wrote a diptych:

"The Place Where the Journey Begins"
The Iron Horses rescue a young man tangled in a barbed wire fence.
763 lines, Buy It Now = $382

The Iron Horses rode over
the open plains, motorcycles
eating up the endless miles.

They came together, broke apart,
and then gathered again like
a herd of buffalo dividing
around hills and ravines.

"We Are All Related"
The Iron Horses take Kenzie to a safe place for recovery.
1091 lines, Buy It Now = $546

Joseph Elkdog pulled his motorcycle
into the driveway as carefully as he could.

The ride had been nerve-wracking at times,
and they had to stop frequently to check
on Kenzie whom they carried between
their bikes, but they managed.


May. 29th, 2017 04:45 pm
yhlee: Flight Rising Spiral dragon, black-red-gold (Flight Rising Jedao baby Spiral)
[personal profile] yhlee
Dragon Pearl raw rough draft done at about 75,000 words.


I think I'm going to have a COOKIE. A really nice woman came up to me in this bookstore café and gave me a coupon for a FREE COOKIE with the purchase of a café drink. (She said she had too many of these coupons and she'd eaten her fill of COOKIES. She also gave another coupon away to another woman in the café area before leaving the store.)

I may also buy a book on writing that I've been eyeing.

And also I have to read this book on Korean feng shui for worldbuilding/magic system purposes. (Tantalizingly, [personal profile] swan_tower, it references the practice of feng shui-derived geomancy in Japan as well as Vietnam, etc., but the focus is on Korea. The book is Hong-Key Yoon's The Culture of Fengshui in Korea: An Exploration of East Asian Geomancy and Ch. 12 is The Use of Geomatic Ideas in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Cities, so maybe useful to you? I'm not very far in yet. The author is apparently trained in "cultural geography" (UC Berkeley), which I'm not even sure what that is because this is the first I've heard of it, but it might be worth seeing if he has academic articles on Japanese feng shui (fusui) specifically.

Update on this year's project lists

May. 29th, 2017 04:37 pm
laridian: (crafts)
[personal profile] laridian
Yep, time to see how the UFO and non-UFO lists are doing. Also it's distracting me from wanting to eat.

The lists )

The Green Book, by Jill Paton Walsh

May. 29th, 2017 02:45 pm
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
This is the first book I’ve read by Walsh. I think she’s best known for a children’s time travel novel, A Chance Child, and official Lord Peter Wimsey fanfic.

Earth has been environmentally devastated and is about to be destroyed; it’s unclear if that’s because of war or something else. Many people have already fled in spaceships. The book is from the point of view of a very young girl, Pammy, whose family is with the very last group to flee, in a low-grade spaceship and with minimal preparation and supplies. The mad scramble to get out results in everyone being allowed to bring exactly one book, but no one consulting with each other to prevent duplication; this has major repercussions on the planet they end up on.

This is children’s sf, very short, written in clear, simple prose but with some remarkably beautiful imagery. It’s written from the point of view of a very young girl, Pammy, but she uses “we” and “Pammy” rather than “I,” reflecting that she’s part of a community of children.

The best aspect of the book is the evocative descriptions of the alien world and its landscapes and ecology. I absolutely love this sort of thing, and the world here is my favorite type: dangerous, strange, and beautiful. The book was worth reading just for that. It also has an excellent ending.

I had some problems with the plot, both because some crucial points required everyone to be idiots and that some things needed more explanation to be plausible or emotionally resonant.

The rule about bringing only one book is supposedly because of weight/space issues, but a tiny children’s paperback and the complete works of Shakespeare are both considered “one book.” This makes no sense. It should have been determined by weight or mass, as those were the reasons for the restriction.

Other issues are spoilery. Read more... )

The Green Book
sartorias: (JRRT)
[personal profile] sartorias
The story is about to branch out. At the start of book five, we’re back with Pippin, peering out from under Gandalf’s cloak, after the ride that seemed to set the world spinning under Shadowfax’s hooves.

I’m trying not to mention the Jackson films (especially as so much was disappointing) but one of the things I absolutely loved was a bit I didn’t even notice in my first rapid readings as a kid: the lighting of the beacons.

We find out about it through dialogue, which—to a reader unfamiliar with the concept—doesn’t convey the drama: “See,” says Gandalf. “The beacons of Gondor are alight, calling for aid. War is kindled. See, there is the fire on Amon Din, and flame on Eilenach; and there they go speeding west: Nardol, Erelas, Min-Rimmon, Calenhad, and the Halifirien on the borders of Rohan.”

Not enough image for me to get the drama until I saw the films. (Other readers were probably much more astute.)

When they arrive at last, and Pippin wakens to Gandalf explaining him to the careful door guardians, Pippin is indignant at Gandalf claiming him to be a valiant man.

“Man!” cried Pippin, now thoroughly roused. “Man! Indeed not! I am a hobbit and no more valiant than I am a man, save perhaps now and again by necessity. Do not let Gandalf deceive you!”

Pippin then accidentally mentions Boromir, then picks up he shouldn’t have, and then speaks with the grace that is becoming such a part of him, young as he is: “Little service can I offer to your lord, but what I can do, I would do, remembering Boromir the brave.”

We slip out of Pippin’s POV (though writer me wishes we could have seen through his eyes) as we approach the High Court through the citadel—Aragorn’s future home, if all goes well. A quiet knell of what is to come as the description ends, “ . . . and in that space stood the houses and domed tombs of bygone kings and lords, for ever silent between the mountain and the tower.”

As they approach Denethor’s chambers, Gandalf asks Pippin not to mention Aragorn.

“Why not? What is wrong with Strider?” Pippin whispered. “He meant to come here, didn’t he? And he’ll be arriving soon himself, anyway.

“Maybe, maybe,” said Gandalf. “Though if he comes, it is likely to be in some way that no one expects, not even Denethor. It will be better so. At least he should come unheralded by us.”

Gandalf then stings Pippin for not paying attention to the talk of kingship—something far, far outside of Pippin’s experience. (And one might even say, interest.)

And so at last we meet Denethor, and I have to say, anyone who claims that Tolkien’s characters are one-dimensional is just not paying attention. The byplay between Gandalf, who understands Denethor’s complexities (and the battle he is losing), and Pippin, who has no idea, but is inspired to carry out his rash promise made at the door, and Denethor, who in meeting young Pippin is given a brief glimpse of sunlight and possibility, but who in the end cannot overcome his own weaknesses, is so intriguing, tense, subtle, changing mood every page.

After they leave, Pippin says he did his best. “Indeed you did your best,” Gandalf says. “And I hope it may be long before you find yourself in such a tight corner again between two such terrible old men.”

Pippin then meets Beregond, through whose eyes we get a glimpse of the ordinary Gondorian—we get a tour and a history lesson, until something horrible happens.

“What was that?” asked Beregone. “You also felt something?”

“Yes,” muttered Pippin. “It is the sign of our fall, and the shadow of doom, a Fell Rider of the air.”

It’s Pippin who first recovers, and he states that he won’t despair. Though he is no warrior and dislikes the thought of battle, he says it feels worse to be on the edge of one that he can’t escape.

As Beregond speaks to bolster his own courage, Pippin makes a very shrewd observation to himself: Alas! My own hand feels as light as a feather. A pawn, did Gandalf say? Perhaps; but on the wrong chessboard.

Shortly after Pippin meets Bergil, Beregond’s son, who talks with the typical belligerence of ten. Pippin demonstrates perhaps his existence between youth and adulthood in his ease of adapting to the son as well as to the father, and in Bergil’s company he enjoys himself, “the best company Pippin had had since he parted from Merry.”

Who we catch up with in chapter two. Merry is pretty much relegated to baggage as the Rohirrim and Aragorn figure out what to do and where to go.

Halbarad shows up, bringing a wrapped gift, and here we get our second mention of Arwen, though at even further a distance than we had in Elrond’s house. But there is a subtle hint of the relationship, far too subtle for me to pick up at fourteen.

Arwen sends word along with the mysterious gift, The days are now short. Either our hope cometh, or all hope’s end. Therefore I send thee what I have made for thee. Fare well, Elfstone!

Now, at fourteen, I wrongly assumed that the old-fashioned pronouns and verbs were extremely formal, as I encountered them only sometimes, and always couched in more formal-seeming dialogue. But JRRT rightly knew that ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ were strictly for intimate speech, the equivalents of ‘tu’ in French and “Du” in German—though English had decided to opt for the formal ‘you’ whose verbs take very little declension. That and the ‘Elfstone’ are pretty much the modern equivalent of “You’ve got this, sweetie-dumpling. Mwa!”

And likewise, Aragorn saying, “Keep it for a while,” was a promise that yeah, our time is coming, and this present indicates that you’ve got my back.”

Not obvious, nor full of remembered scenes of stolen passion, but I think when you pick up hints of meaning, they carry just as much punch as the more standard bash on the beautyrest.

Merry is fitted out with what amounts to kids’ armor and shield, and that is the attitude taken toward him as the Rohorrim and Aragorn make their plans—which include a very long debate about the Paths of the Dead, during which Aragorn starts showing bits of the king beneath the Ranger.

As his star begins to wax, respect-wise, Merry’s is waning. He susses out that he is being gently shouldered to the sidelines along with the women and kids, and at the same time, Eowyn welcomes her uncle back, and gets ready to see to everyone’s comfort—to be told that Aragorn is planning to take the deadly shortcut.

Eowyn’s aid is rejected, and she explains bitterly that her fear is of a cage, not death. JRRT certainly shows he understands this mood and mode, and though it’s probably highly irrelevant, or wrong, or whatever, but from the few hints we get about his homelife, I wonder how much of Eowyn was confessed on the marital pillow. We know that he loved his wife, but we also glimpse through the letters and diaries of the Inklings that JRRT spent a great deal of his free time among other men, writing his projects, while his wife was stuck home with the long hours of drudgery, from which she probably got very little relief, as they were not wealthy enough for a staff. She might have complained—she had been an artist on her own before marriage—and he might have sympathized, but they were both caught in cultural roles from which it seemed there was no escape except wealth.

At any rate, the bitterness that Eowyn feels in being forced into the mold expected of most females resonated so very strongly for many of us in the sixties, that she was the favorite character of a lot of us. Certainly mine.

Aragorn shuts her down, saying, “Stay. For you have no errand to the South.”

To which she retorts with absolute truth—and equally absolute bitterness—“Neither have those who go with thee. They go only because they would not be parted from thee—because they love thee.”

Note once again, the choice of pronouns: Aragorn gives her the formal ‘you’—as he in honor must—and she gives him ‘thee.’

Aragorn and company embark on their grim journey, once again touching on tales we don’t learn as they pass a grim place. “Hither shall the flowers of simbelmyne come never until word’s end. Nine mounds and seven there are now green with grass, and through all the long years he has lain at the door that he could not unlock. Whither does it lead? Why would he pass? None shall ever know!”

Aragorn meets with the shadowy figures in a tense, memorable scene when he calls upon the Oathbreakers and promises them peace at last, and he leads the King of the Dead on his quest.

The township and the fords of Ciril they found deserted, for many men had gone away to war, and all that were left fled to the hills at the rumor of the coming of the King of the Dead.

Recovery Talk

May. 29th, 2017 02:24 pm
auguris: Image text: This is not for you. (Muss es sein?)
[personal profile] auguris
I know recovery isn't a straight line, that I'll have dips and crashes, and that I will come through the other side as long as I put the work in.

Sometimes I just don't know what work I need to put in. I took this past week off from work and haven't done ANYthing on my todo list. I haven't even cleaned my room, which isn't a trash heap or anything but could use some tidying and a quick mopping. I've tried the old standbys -- taking long walks, playing one of my crafting games (7 Days to Die, for the record), sitting outside and reading, heading to Starbucks and trying some long-form writing -- nothing really sticks. I'll feel better for a little bit, but then I drop back down into this fog. I don't even know what to tell my therapist -- I feel lousy for no particular reason? She's big on CBT, which helps most of the time, but sometimes there is no reason and I just get frustrated trying to figure out what's wrong. My brain chemistry is what's wrong. I can't do anything I'm not already doing.

And yeah, even my bad days/weeks are far and away better than my bad days/weeks/months before meds and therapy, but it's still frustrating and discouraging to deal with.

I'm back to work tomorrow (my boss gave me the holiday off even after my week long vacation, which was very nice of her) so we'll see how it goes. Maybe getting back into that routine will help. At least it will give me something to do which I can't avoid. Gotta pay the rent.

anatomy of a (sort of) failure

May. 29th, 2017 03:20 pm
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
[personal profile] ilanarama
Like I did last year, I signed up for the Narrow Gauge 10 Mile at nearly the last minute, when it was clear we'd be spending Memorial Day weekend in town. I figured that I'd be able to improve a lot on my time of 1:21:44, since last year we had been on vacation a lot and I was biking more than I was running, in preparation for our epic Purgatory-to-Moab ride. This year I've been gradually increasing my mileage since my long string of illness in February, averaging over 36mpw, as compared to last year's 23mpw over the same period. I've also been riding, though not nearly as much.

Spoiler alert: I ran 1:22 flat, 16 seconds slower this year. (I still would have come in first in my age group, if there had been age groups. Also I'm pleased to see in the results that my "age percentage" of 71.0, which I assume is some form of age/sex grading, puts me in 10th place by age percentage!)

Why did this happen? Am I in worse shape now than I was then? Was all that riding actually more beneficial than running more miles?

Short answer: possibly poor execution, definitely lack of taper. Long answer under the cut. )

So I think that what happened is that I just had too much residual fatigue to sustain a hard 10M race, and ran out of energy. Which is an object lesson for me with Steamworks coming up, especially since...I'm doing another White Rim trip the week of the race, unless the weather is too hot (which it might be, Moab in June). I knew it wasn't going to be a goal race anyway, and some old friends invited us on the trip, and even though we just did it last month we would like to spend time with them, and hey, White Rim's pretty awesome. Hopefully if I do a very short run on Friday when we're back home, just to remind myself how to run, I will be okay for the race on Saturday. Because even if it's not a goal race, I would like to finish strong!

Anyway, it wasn't really a failure. I enjoyed myself, I had a good workout, and when I finished, I had beer AND ice cream - for breakfast!

Quilt: Off Kilter Rainbow

May. 29th, 2017 04:12 pm
laridian: (crafts)
[personal profile] laridian
Another one I started to clean out more green and blue fabrics... it did a dandy job of cleaning out the red and yellow, I'll admit, but I still have lots of green and blue. :)

Off Kilter Rainbow )

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